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10 Suspected Islamic Militants Arrested in Malaysia

FILE - Police officers stand guard outside a Shah Alam court house at Shah Alam outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Friday, July 28, 2017.

Police in Malaysia have arrested 10 suspected Islamic militants who were trying to establish a foothold on the island of Borneo.

The suspects were arrested in a series of raids in January and early February, according to a statement by national police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun.

The group includes a 27-year-old man from the Philippines who is believed to be a senior leader of the notorious Abu Sayyaf, a Philippine terrorist group known for kidnapping and beheading foreign tourists.

Fuzi said the suspects are accused of aiding fighters with the Islamic State group travel from the eastern state of Sabah, which is located on Borneo, to the southern Philippines, where Muslim rebels have been fighting government forces for self-rule since the 1970s.